Study Shows Lack of TV Diversity May Harm White and Black Girls
Researchers at Indiana University say watching TV may be good for your child's self-esteem -- but only if he's a white male. That's because children's developing identities are strongly influenced by what they see on the screen, especially representations of people who look like them. Marissa Lee of Racebending, a blog for equality in entertainment, explains:
This unique piece of research studied 396 black and white preteens in communities in the Midwest United States over a yearlong period. Researchers focused on how much the kids watched TV, and how that impacted their self esteem. What they found –although kind of common sense–is making headlines: Television exposure predicted a decrease in self-esteem for white and black girls and black boys, and an increase in self-esteem among white boys.
(The study was conducted in school districts in Illinois that had predominantly black and white students. AngryAsianMan hopes for a future study on television and the self esteem of Asian American children. The researchers also controlled for age, body image, and baseline self esteem to determine if television was making an impact.)